WM Public Works greenlights trash pick-up rate hike

$1-per-month increase heads to City Council for consideration

By John Rech news@theeveningtimes.com

The public works Commission dealt with two pressing financial items during the February meeting. Commissioners moved to send a rate increase recommendation to city council for consideration. The proposed garbage and trash rate increase raise the charge to residential customers by one dollar a month. Sanitation rates for commercial accounts saw an increase two years ago, while the residential rate remained level. In the meantime, landfill fees climbed. City Engineer Phillip Sorrell explained the fee increase and provided commissioners with the justification for the change. “It goes from $15 per month now to $16.50,” said Sorrell. “We’ve had $80,000 in landfill increases in the last two years that we absorbed. We need more money in the budget for depreciation because of the age and condition of our equipment.” The public works commission considered the increase for two months and no one had heard objections for the constituents in their wards. “I haven’t heard any feedback,” said Public Works Chairman Ramona Taylor. Commissioners then heard some bad news about an equipment breakdown, a case in point to Sorrell’s concerns with old equipment. “It threw a rod through the engine block,” said Sorrell. “It is a 1998 model. We have to have this when we have a flood to remove debris from the ponds.” The commission reallocated budgeted money to handle replacing a worn out excavator. Sorrell found a used 2014 excavator for $125,000, half the original price. “They allowed $5,000 on trade in,” said Sorrell. We need to waive competitive bidding and purchase this equipment. I assure you I have thoroughly researched this and we are getting a good dealt is like brand new.” Sorrell proposed forgoing the purchase of two new mowers and using that money to purchase the new excavator and commissioners agreed.

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